Sunday, February 14, 2010

Dino puts the blame on Dick for Yul.

by Richard Fleischer

Yul Brynner was another case. Dino wanted him to play Barabbas (and so did I), but Brynner wasn't interested. That didn't daunt Dino. He made arrangements for me to meet a reluctant Yul Brynner in Paris and try to talk him into it. It looked hopeless to me, but off I went. I spent most of a day in hot discussion with Brynner, and by the time I left he had agreed to play the part. We shook hands and he said how much he was now looking forward to working with me. I phoned Dino in Rome and he shouted, "Bravo, Deek, bravo."
Several days later Dino called me into his office.
"We no use Yul Brynner!"
"Why not?"
"He crazy. He want a fortune. He think he really King of Siam."
"Damn! That's too bad."
"How you like Tony Quinn?"
"He'd be terrific."
"Bravo, Deek! I like. We use!"
A few weeks later a letter arrived from Yul Brynner. He was upset to learn that the reason for his not being in the picture was because I didn't like him.
Click! Again I couldn't prove it, but the only logical source of that misinformation must have been Dino. After the hype and selling he'd previously given Brynner it made him look better if the blame could be switched to me on a personal basis, rather than on Dino's reluctance to come up with the money.